Pokemon Company Given Legal Permission to Pursue Sword and Shield Leakers
The Pokemon Company has been diligently searching for the individuals behind the Pokemon Sword and Shield leaks prior to its official release. Now, they've been given permission to pursue the individuals in question to the full extent of the law.According to a report from Forbes, via Nintendo Everything, the Pokemon Company has begun a lawsuit against the individuals and is planning on issuing subpoenas against Discord and 4chan that would force them to come forward with information regarding the users behind the leaks.While the individuals in question have yet to be identified, Forbes notes "[The Pokemon Company] has identified four Discord users, though, after it hired outside forensic experts to hunt down the leakers. One is believed to be the person who supplied the images to the other defendants, who posted or helped post the photos online."The leaks began a couple of weeks prior to Pokemon Swordsee dealPokémon Sword – Nintendo Switch$59.95on Amazon and Shield's release, with images circulating around the internet showcasing unreleased images of Pokemon, including new Gigantamax forms, taken directly from the official strategy guide. The Pokemon Company's lawyers claim that the leaks had caused “irreparable injury” to Pokemon and that the company “is entitled to damages in an amount to be proven at trial.”According to the legal document detailing the case, 18 images were leaked from the strategy guide and shared in Discord, before being circulated to 4chan, Reddit, and eventually the rest of the internet. In all, "[The Pokemon Company] identified over 300 URLs on dozens of platforms that linked to websites containing the leaked Strategy Guide pictures."It also mentions the leaks are responsible for "reducing the fan interest and engagement The Pokemon Company and its partners generate by keeping key elements of the games secret" which players would eventually obtain by purchasing the games and said strategy guide.The Pokemon Company are seeking financial reimbursement from the individuals responsible for "all losses caused by [their] wrongful conduct" as well as any legal punishment that the court deems appropriate.It's very clear that The Pokemon Company and Nintendo take these actions very seriously, with Nintendo recently pursuing websites uploading illegal ROMs of their games. While one might argue whether or not these leaks affected sales of Pokemon Sword and Shield, or the subsequent strategy guide, The Pokemon Company want to make an example out of those who distribute information without their consent, at the very least.For more on Pokemon Sword and Shield, check out our list of the best Pokemon, as well as where to find every Pokemon in the Galar region to complete your PokeDex. If you're still collecting your way through the games, check out IGN's massive Pokemon Sword and Shield wiki guides.
Matthew Adler is a News and Features writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewadler and watch him on Twitch.If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, learn more.